It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

Should I not eat past a certain time of day?

I have been told that if you are on a very strict diet you should not eat past 7 o'clock. Some others say 9. Is this true? Also, does that mean no calories at all past the time or no big meal. Cause I generally just have a fruit-juice popsicle or some orange juice. Is that okay or am I breaking my strict diet "no eating" time?

Dr. Gourmet Says...


Eating later is a problem because this usually means you are eating extra calories. If you are going to have something light, like a fruit-juice popsicle or orange juice, this is not likely to add many calories to your day. These are healthier calories than eating cookies or buttered popcorn.

The idea of a strict "no eating" time is not going to help you as much as simply keeping an eye on the amount of calories you eat each day. For a lot of us those extra calories come between meals. If you are going to have the small snack later in the evening like this, you might want to eat a little less at dinner so that you are not getting too many extra calories.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet